This panforte recipe is sweet, spicy, sticky and delicious. Like most wild recipes, you can experiment with modifying the recipe with any foraged spices you think might work – meaning it will reflect the place you forage from and ingredients you can pick easily. Think roasted dandelion roots for a coffee flavour, dried mugwort, wild fennel seeds and so on.
Because it is so rich and sticky, a small piece with a coffee, or sweet wine is just perfect.
Ingredients to serve 20
- 240g pitted dates
- 50g honey (or substitute birch sap syrup)
- 100g soft brown sugar
- ½ tsp each of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, ground hogweed seeds, and crushed alexanders seeds
- 250g chopped candied peel
- 50g blanched almonds
- 100g toasted hazelnuts
- 3-4 tbsp plain flour
- 50ml vin Santo, or sherry
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Rice paper for lining (optional)
Note: If you exchange the honey for birch sap syrup this recipe becomes vegan!
- Heat the oven to 150 C/Gas 2. Line a shallow 25cm round cake tin, or a 20cm square tin, with rice paper.
- Mince the dates and put them in a pan with enough water just to cover. Add the honey, brown sugar and all the spices. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, then tip into a bowl. The mixture should be soft and sticky, but not wet.
- Add the candied fruit and nuts and mix well, then add the flour and Vin Santo and mix to a sticky mass. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Sprinkle generously with icing sugar and serve cut into thin wedges.